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Lentil Vegetable Soup

• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 2 small onions, diced
• 2 stalks celery, diced
• 2 medium carrots, diced
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
• 1½ tsp italian seasoning
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 cup trimmed and chopped green beans (I used frozen)
• 4 cups vegetable broth + 1 cup water
• 2 tbsp tomato paste
• 1-15oz caned diced tomatoes (not drained)
• 1 medium potato, cubed
• 1 cup lentils
• 2 cups spinach
• 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  1 Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot or dutch oven.

2 Once oil is hot, add onions, celery, carrots, and a dash of salt. Sautee for about 7 minutes.

3 Add garlic and sautee for another 2 minutes. Stir in the salt, italian seasoning, and bay leaves. Sautee for another minute. Add green beans, vegetable broth, water, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, potato, and lentils. Give it a stir, bring to a boil, then simmer (covered) on low for 35-45 minutes, or until lentils are tender.

Stir in spinach and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste

GAZPACHO

3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped (about 3 cups)
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped (about 2 cups)
1 red bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 medium onion, chopped (about 11/4 cups)
3 cups canned tomato juice
2 tablespoons fresh herbs (such as tarragon, thyme, or parsley), chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Kosher salt
Cayenne pepper
1 cup croutons, to garnish

  1. In a bowl, reserve 2 tablespoons each of the tomato, cucumber, pepper, and onion to garnish.

2. In the food processor or blender, purée the remaining ingredients (except the croutons) until smooth, adjusting the seasoning to taste with lemon juice, salt, and cayenne pepper.

3. Cover and chill thoroughly, at least 3 hours but preferably overnight. Adjust the consistency as desired with water. Serve in chilled bowls garnished with the reserved vegetables and croutons.

Recipe courtesy of epicurious


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